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Old 05-16-2015, 06:18 PM
 
1,820 posts, read 1,316,381 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PLBR View Post
I loved fountain pins, and remember everyone being excited when the cartridges came out for less mess. My favorite was the peacock blue ink you could get. Imagine... this was before the invention of Sharpies.
Ah yes, I remember it well...

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Old 05-16-2015, 08:31 PM
 
Location: Myrtle Creek, Oregon
12,248 posts, read 12,499,482 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr5150 View Post
Gosh we had to fashion our own pens from turkey feathers and make our own ink. Each of us had a candle at our desk. And...
We used both turkey and goose quills for pens. When the nib got worn we sharpened it with our pen knife. We learned how to make our own ink from walnut leaves. We learned how to write a letter, then fold it into its own envelope and seal it with sealing wax. We learned what a fire pot was and how to use one, which is very useful if you live in a world without matches. We learned how to extract lye from wood ashes to make lye soap. There are hundreds of old skills that people have lost because they are not needed any more. Just last month I got my first lesson in making stone arrowheads, and what kind of tools you need to do it.
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Old 05-16-2015, 09:59 PM
 
Location: too far from the sea
19,838 posts, read 18,851,047 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Caldwell View Post
We used both turkey and goose quills for pens. When the nib got worn we sharpened it with our pen knife. We learned how to make our own ink from walnut leaves. We learned how to write a letter, then fold it into its own envelope and seal it with sealing wax. We learned what a fire pot was and how to use one, which is very useful if you live in a world without matches. We learned how to extract lye from wood ashes to make lye soap. There are hundreds of old skills that people have lost because they are not needed any more. Just last month I got my first lesson in making stone arrowheads, and what kind of tools you need to do it.
Wow, I love stuff like that. To make a letter, fold it into an envelope and seal it with wax. I wonder if you learned that in school or some outside class or in some organization. Those old time skills are mostly lost but they're very interesting.

Only by traveling down south when I was in my twenties did I see a recreation of a typical family farm with a place for making lye soap with wood ashes. I never knew.

Several years later I took a calligraphy class and we made quill pens. They wrote much more smoothly than those scratchy metal nibs in the stick pins we had to use in school.

It certainly must have been a much more slowly paced world back in those days, before our time. Making your own candles is fun but not fun if you had to rely on it. Lots of work, lots of skills, so much to know.
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Old 05-16-2015, 10:24 PM
 
9,680 posts, read 15,861,934 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Happy in Wyoming View Post
Today when people think of a stick pen they are likely thinking of a cheap ballpoint, a throwaway. However, in my second grade class it had a far more ominous meaning because it referred to the dip pen, the pen that dribbled and dripped seemingly everywhere. I can imagine what an ordeal it must have been for southpaws as the inkwell was in the upper righthand corner of the desk.

Do you remember it? Did you, too, long for the day when you would be allowed to take your fountain pen to school? Fountain pens could drip when poorly handled by little tykes. However, my mother not only allowed it for my homework, she positively insisted that I use it and not the dreaded stick pen.

Ballpoints? The ballpoints of the day skipped; our teachers neither permitted them in class nor allowed them for homework.

During the last month or so of the school year we were finally allowed to bring our fountain pens. We did, however, manage to spill some ink, usually at the end of a writing assignment. Then we had the singular joy of rewriting the assigned work.

I suppose that that was my first incident of nostalgia because I often wished that we still used the pencils of our youth.

I remember fountain pens, but ours used a cartridge. It was also washable ink. I'm a "southpaw", but always managed to use the pen without problems.
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Old 05-16-2015, 10:42 PM
 
Location: Out there somewhere...a traveling man.
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This was the type of desk we had when I was in school. We dipped the quill or pen into the inkwell on the right side and learned to print and do cursive. Poor lefties were messy when leaning over to the inkwell.
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Old 05-17-2015, 07:00 AM
 
Location: NC
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Everyone talks about the difficulties lefties had when leaning over their writing to reach the ink well. But if you remember, there were fewer lefties in those days. I was told that kids back then who wanted to write with their left hand were still trained to write with their right hand, and strongly discouraged from using their left. Is that true?

And BTW (by the way), these reminiscences are so interesting to read. Keep them coming.
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Old 05-17-2015, 09:11 AM
 
Location: Myrtle Creek, Oregon
12,248 posts, read 12,499,482 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by in_newengland View Post
Wow, I love stuff like that. To make a letter, fold it into an envelope and seal it with wax. I wonder if you learned that in school or some outside class or in some organization. Those old time skills are mostly lost but they're very interesting.

Only by traveling down south when I was in my twenties did I see a recreation of a typical family farm with a place for making lye soap with wood ashes. I never knew.

Several years later I took a calligraphy class and we made quill pens. They wrote much more smoothly than those scratchy metal nibs in the stick pins we had to use in school.

It certainly must have been a much more slowly paced world back in those days, before our time. Making your own candles is fun but not fun if you had to rely on it. Lots of work, lots of skills, so much to know.
It was in school. I'm an old guy. Several of my teachers started school in the 19th century or early 20th century, when children were still taught such things. It was a part of our history curriculum.
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Old 05-17-2015, 10:20 AM
 
1,820 posts, read 1,316,381 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yeledaf View Post
Jean jean jopean! bananabanna bopean! fee fie fopean! Jean!
Clank!

SHIRLEY ELLIS lyrics - The Name Game
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Old 05-17-2015, 10:50 AM
 
Location: too far from the sea
19,838 posts, read 18,851,047 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luv4horses View Post
Everyone talks about the difficulties lefties had when leaning over their writing to reach the ink well. But if you remember, there were fewer lefties in those days. I was told that kids back then who wanted to write with their left hand were still trained to write with their right hand, and strongly discouraged from using their left. Is that true?

And BTW (by the way), these reminiscences are so interesting to read. Keep them coming.
Yes. Left handed kids were forced to use their right hands. The inkwells were on the right hand side and there was thought to be no need for them to be on the left. Many people, including my husband, can't write well with either hand since they are left handed and were forced to try to be right handed. It's so stupid because they inherited it by birth and can't really change it.

I still have fountain pens in my desk and probably a bottle of that blue Script ink too. I write better with a fountain pen than with a ballpoint. You could choose the width of the nibs and they were flat, not rounded like the ballpoints. Actually, I hate ballpoints except for scribbling fast notes. With a fountain pen of your chosen width and held at the proper slant, you could make beautiful letters with some parts wide and some parts thin depending upon the part of the letter you were making.

Some fountain pens are valuable now. Mine are just the ones that I liked to write with and they aren't the valuable ones.
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Old 05-17-2015, 10:58 AM
 
Location: too far from the sea
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I don't know what's politically correct these days but in 6th grade our class play (every class had to produce a play for the entire school and the parents once a year) was about the Pilgrims. We girls made white paper hats to cover our hair and my line was, "But what shall we use for dishes?" The reply was, "Sea shells."

Our 5th grade play was about Abraham Lincoln. Being tall, I was Abe's wife (who I do not think was very tall really.)
Some kids lived in very old houses along the river where the Underground Railroad had brought the runaway slaves North. Those slaves had hidden in tunnels that connected the houses to the river. In these tunnels people were still finding the trunks full of clothing from those days.

We got to wear those clothes! Mine was a brown silk dress that the teacher pinned and took in a bit (at the "bust"--I was so embarrassed right in front of the class.) But imagine, a skinny 5th grader could fit into the dresses that a regular sized woman of the mid 1800s wore! People were much smaller in those days and these articles of clothing proved that for us.
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